Hello Tokyo: Virgin Australia announces first-ever Cairns to Japan flights

Virgin Australia cabin crew in a karaoke booth at Cairns Airport to celebrate the new Tokyo route
Virgin Australia
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson

Virgin Australia has capped off a huge year for the airline, by announcing a new international route. Daily return Cairns to Tokyo flights will take off for the first time on 28 June 2023.

The highly anticipated route is being launched in partnership with Cairns Airport and the Queensland Government through its Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.

To celebrate the announcement, Virgin Australia has launched a ‘Hello Tokyo’ sale, with return fares from as low as $699 for Economy Lite, on sale until midnight 20 December, or until sold out.

Two Virgin Australia cabin crew members holding pink and red parasols
Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said: “Virgin Australia is a proud Queensland company and we’re delighted to add over 2,000 seats between these iconic destinations every week which means more value and choice for Australians wanting to travel to Japan. Importantly, it also means welcoming more Japanese tourists into the Sunshine State to enjoy our unrivalled natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands.  

“We know the Japanese market is hugely important to trade and tourism in Far North Queensland and the Sunshine State and our service will result in more international visitors arriving in Cairns every year, having a very positive impact on the State’s economy.”

To further bolster flight access between Australia and Japan, Virgin Australia will strengthen its existing strategic partnership with All Nippon Airways (ANA), the largest airline in Japan, to create greater value and choice for the airline’s customers. The partnership will provide greater codeshare flight access between the two countries, as well as reciprocal benefits on the airlines’ frequent flyer programmes Velocity and ANA Mileage Club.

Four Virgin Australia cabin crew celebrating the announcement of flights from Cairns to Tokyo
Virgin Australia

Junichiro Miyagawa, ANA EVP of alliances and international affairs, said: “We are excited for Virgin Australia's inaugural flight to Haneda that enhances our commercial partnership. We are delighted to welcome passengers with the mutual goal of both airlines serving as the bridge between Australia and Japan with the highest levels of customer service and offering unique customer experiences in the two countries.”

This announcement wraps up an amazing 2022 for Virgin Australia, in which the airline returned to profitability following completion of the first stage of its transformation programme, and recently celebrated 11 million members of Velocity. Since international borders reopened in Australia 12 months ago, the airline has resumed flights to Bali, Fiji and Queenstown, with Vanuatu, Samoa and Tokyo all commencing in the first half of 2023.

Visit Virgin Australia to find out more.